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The Two-Way
8:53 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The Obamas' Guests For The 2015 State Of The Union Address

Alan Gross (center), recently freed after being held in Cuba, speaks with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly before the start of the State of the Union speech in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol. At left is Judy Gross.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 11:59 pm

President Obama's guest list for tonight's State of the Union address includes Alan Gross, the Maryland man who was freed from a Cuban prison in December after five years of captivity — an event that was announced along with a new era of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Gross will be attending with his wife, Judy, who worked to gain his release.

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The Two-Way
7:23 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

J.C. Penney Brings Back Its Print Catalog, After A 5-Year Hiatus

A J.C. Penney store in a Pembroke Pines, Fla., shopping center. The company's resurrected print catalog will be much thinner than its previous "Big Book," which was sometimes 1,000 pages.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:05 am

After more than five years away, and at a significantly smaller weight, J.C. Penney Co.'s print catalog is back. The company discontinued its often 1,000-page "Big Book" in 2009 and phased out several smaller, specialty catalogs over the past few years as well. But the company announced this week that it's re-entering the print catalog game.

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'Tonight, We Turn The Page': Obama Lays Out 2015 Agenda

President Obama receives a standing ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:48 am

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

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The Salt
6:18 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Would Kids Eat More Veggies If They Had Recess Before Lunch?

A baked potato with toppings on a lunch tray at a school in Wisconsin. Students are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they're rushing to get to recess, researchers say.
Micheal Sears MCT/Landov

Schools are offering more and more healthy foods for lunch. And schools that participate in the National School Lunch program require students to choose a fruit and a vegetable side. Yet plate waste is a big problem in schools; as The Salt has reported, kids throw away anywhere from 24 to 35 percent of what's on their trays.

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Theater
5:34 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

How Broadway Is Losing Its 'Middle Ground'

Side Show tells the true story of conjoined twins who go from a freak show to vaudeville and try, unsuccessfully, to find love along the way. "We just did not get enough bodies and butts in seats that translate into word of mouth," says Side Show producer Darren Bagert. Above (from left): Ryan Silverman, Emily Padgett, Erin Davie and Matthew Hydzik.
Joan Marcus O+M Co.

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:03 am

Broadway is New York's biggest tourist attraction and brought in $1.3 billion in ticket sales last season. But it's also a high-stakes gamble for producers, since only 1 in 4 Broadway shows turns a profit. This month, two of the fall's most highly anticipated musicals, a revival of Side Show and The Last Ship, with songs by Sting, have thrown in the towel — closing, having lost almost their entire investments.

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Middle East
5:34 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Saudi Arabia Builds Iraq Border Wall To Protect Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
5:34 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

French Quarter Sees Violent Crime Surge; Residents Demand Changes

New Orleans police officer Patrick Schneider patrols Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter on Saturday.
Jason Saul WWNO

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

New Orleans' most visited neighborhood rarely sees the type of violent crime that plagues other parts of the city. Recently, several high-profile robberies have rattled the region and led to criticism of the police department and the mayor, both of whom are rethinking safety measures.

Over the next few weeks, more and more visitors will roam the city's famous French Quarter, drinks in hand, for Mardi Gras. In less than 2 square miles, the French Quarter combines hotels, restaurants, street performers, and all-night bars with historic homes and tight-knit neighbors.

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Goats and Soda
5:34 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Africa's Soccer Tourney Takes Guinea's Mind Off Ebola

Guinea's defender Fode Camara (left) heads the ball over Ivory Coast's forward Wilfried Bony in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:22 am

Red, gold and green – Guinea's national colors — filled the streets of the capital, Conakry, early this morning. Guineans of all ages proudly wore the colors on their T-shirts, headbands, dresses and shorts. Children, with their cheeks and foreheads painted, ran around the street cheering, blowing whistles and waving their nation's flags.

But by 3 p.m. the streets were dead.

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NPR Ed
5:22 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

What To Expect From Obama Tonight On Education

President Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., on Jan. 9. Obama is promoting a plan to make publicly funded community college available to all students.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 5:50 pm

On the education front, President Obama's State of the Union address is likely to focus on three big proposals:

First, the president wants to talk about the idea he floated last week of making community college tuition-free. This is new.

The plan would benefit about 9 million full- and part-time students and would cost the federal government about $60 billion over 10 years. According to the administration's numbers, that would account for three-fourths of the total cost. States and community colleges would come up with the rest.

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Remembrances
4:38 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Instant Replay Inventor Changed The Way We Watch Sports

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you have watched any football on television recently then you have watched a lot of instant replay.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Middle East
4:37 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Al Qaida, Houthi Rebels Push Yemen Toward Sectarian Conflict

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

He Invented Instant Replay, The TV Trick We Now Take For Granted

The Army-Navy game on Dec. 7, 1963, was the first televised sports game featuring instant replay. Its inventor, Tony Verna, died Sunday at 81.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:41 pm

Decades before the DVR and years before the first Super Bowl, a young television director decided to try something that would either amaze or confuse TV watchers: the instant replay.

With that, Tony Verna revolutionized the way we watch televised sports. He died Sunday at 81.

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Law
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

BP Back In Court For Final Phase Of Gulf Oil Spill Trial

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Montana Governor Declares State Of Emergency After River Oil Spill

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

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World
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

ISIS Demands $200 Million Ransom For Japanese Hostages

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

New York Under Pressure For Locking Up Teens In Adult Prisons

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

New York is one of only two states that still locks up 16- and 17-year-olds in adult prisons. A commission report released this week found that those young people — most of them black and Hispanic — face a high risk of assault and victimization behind bars and an increased risk of suicide. Gov. Andrew Cuomo now says he'll push the legislature to raise the age of adult incarceration to 18, a move that could mean the transfer of more than 800 teenagers out of state correctional facilities.

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Politics
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama Tries To Spread State Of The Union Messages Outside Speech

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'State Of The Union Machine' Patches Together Speeches Of Presidents Past

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

The State of the Union Machine is an online tool that randomly generates text based on different presidents' actual speeches. Nine presidents' words and phrases can be patched together to create a multi-administration text

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Law
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Supreme Court Examines Gray Area In Judicial Campaigning

Thirty-nine states elect some or all of their judges, and 30 of them bar personal solicitations in order to preserve judicial impartiality.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that tests whether states may ban judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

For most of the last decade, the Supreme Court's conservative majority has systematically dismantled federal and state campaign finance laws enacted to limit corruption and the appearance of corruption in the legislative and executive branches of government. Tuesday's case is the first challenge targeted specifically at the judicial branch.

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Media
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

U.K. Tabloid 'The Sun' Ends Topless Tradition

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Scientists Say The NFL's 'Deflate-Gate' Isn't All Hot Air

A deflated football would have been easier for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) to grip in Sunday's rain.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:15 pm

The New England Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl.

But there is a flat, squishy cloud over the Patriots' 45-7 victory against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday: The NFL is looking into allegations that the Patriots deflated the football to give themselves an advantage.

Two scientists say that "deflate-gate" isn't entirely hot air.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Supreme Court Rules For Muslim Inmate In Prison Beard Case

This undated photo provided by the Arkansas Department of Correction shows prison inmate Gregory Holt.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 1:22 pm

In a closely watched religious rights case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that an Arkansas prisoner must be allowed to grow a half-inch beard in accordance with his religion.

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It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama Joins Ike, The Gipper, Bill And George II In A Club No One Wants To Be In

President Dwight Eisenhower delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of the 86th Congress in 1959. Behind him are Vice President Richard Nixon (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:06 pm

President Obama begins his seventh year in office Tuesday facing a Congress where both the House and Senate are in the hands of the opposition party. He shares this in common with every other president fortunate enough to even have a seventh year in office since the 1950s.

Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, Ronald Reagan in 1987, Bill Clinton in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2007 all climbed the rostrum for this late-in-the-game challenge looking out at majorities of the other party in both chambers.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Pope Francis Says Catholics Don't Need To Breed 'Like Rabbits'

Pope Francis waves to the crowd in Manila, capital of the Philippines, before boarding his flight back to Rome on Monday.
Aaron Favila AP

On his return trip from Asia, Pope Francis made strong statements supporting the church's ban on artificial means of birth control. He also said Catholics should practice "responsible parenthood" and don't have to breed "like rabbits."

Speaking with reporters on a flight Monday from the Philippines to Rome, Francis encouraged the use of church-approved contraception.

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Author Interviews
2:02 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

In 'The Evil Hours,' A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:35 pm

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Television
2:02 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore' Debuts In Slot Vacated By Stephen Colbert

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

4 Linked To Paris Attack Appear In French Court

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:14 pm

There have been developments today in France and elsewhere in Europe over the investigation into the Jan. 7 attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead.

Four men accused of providing logistical support to Ahmed Coulibaly, the gunman who took hostages at a kosher supermarket during the Paris attacks, appeared in court today. It's not clear whether the four — all in the 20s — were aware of his plans.

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Code Switch
1:21 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Barbie Has Some Royal Competition In Nigeria

Taofick Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princess dolls a month and reckons he has 10 to 15 percent of a small but fast-growing market.
Akintunde Akinleye Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:26 am

In Nigeria, Barbie has some fierce — some brown — competition: Taofick Okoya, a 43-year-old entrepreneur, has created Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls that are outselling Mattel's classics. Okoya tells Reuters that he sells about 6,000 to 9,000 dolls a month and that he has "about 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market."

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Shots - Health News
1:13 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The City Might Not Be To Blame For High Asthma Rates

Dr. Stephen Teach helps Jeffery Ulmer listen to his daughter Alauna's asthmatic breathing at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Alauna's mother, Farisa, holds her. The District has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the country.
Jahi Chikwendiu Washington Post

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:44 pm

Asthma affects children regardless of where they live and whether they are rich or poor. But scientists have long thought that living in poor urban neighborhoods adds an extra risk for this troublesome lung inflammation. A new study suggests that's not necessarily the case.

Asthma is often triggered by something in the environment, so in the 1960s, scientists started looking for places where asthma was especially bad.

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The Salt
12:48 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

How Your Food Gets The 'Non-GMO' Label

Demand is growing for GMO-free labels on food products, according to the Non-GMO Project, one of the principal suppliers of the label.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:41 pm

Demand for products that don't contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is exploding.

Now many food companies are seeking certification for products that don't have any genetically modified ingredients, and not just the brands popular in the health food aisle. Even Cheerios, that iconic cereal from General Mills, no longer contains GMOs.

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